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St. Joseph Strikes Record Handle

Published: July 21, 2021 5:00 pm ET

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Saturday (July 17), was better than a comeback from 2020’s pandemic-impacted racing season. In fact, the Circuit régional des courses de chevaux du Québec (CRCCQ) made the move to online wagering for the first time in 30 years of racing at St. Joseph de Lepage (SJLP). And what a move it was.

The 11 races were available for betting on Canada’s Horseplayer Interactive (HPI) and TwinSpires in the USA. Instead of the regular AmTote trackside wagering, organizers decided to make the races available to a larger audience. As CRCCQ spokesperson Manon Gravel noted, “The timing was perfect to try HPI, as the quality of horses on the track was great. People from all over the province and the country could see the performances. SJDL is about six hours from Montréal, so this was a great opportunity to see the Circuit Régional and to place bets.”

Dreamfair Tecate and Pascal Bérubé were going-away winners of Les Trois Milles, the annual three-mile test of stamina. The blue-blooded Isabelle Binet trainee won in 6:20.1h for owner Francois Morin of Beauceville, Que. The Invitational Pace was captured by track-record holder Ninoscredit. The eight-year-old gelding paced to the fastest victory of the day (1:56.4h), in rein to Antoine Desrochers. Ninoscredit is owned by Eric Dechamplain and trainer Nathalie Migneault of Saint-Donat, Que.

St. Joseph de Lepage was a big winner too, shattering its record handle. Local bettors sent $5,174 through the regional track’s windows on July 21, 2018. Thanks to greater availability and awareness this year, handle reached $13,910.

“The betting parlors everywhere in Québec presented the program,” said Gravel. “We also had a team at the track that were helping people set up their account on HPI. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people involved. Sylvain Gagnon [video/photo] and his crew did huge work there and for a first experience, we were close to perfect.”

As the CRCCQ reflects upon a very successful trial run, racing moves on to Nouvelle July 24. This card will not be available for online wagering.


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